The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival (GICF) reveals its full programme, as this hugely popular event in the comedy calendar returns for its 16th year from Thursday 8 – Sunday 25 March 2018.  

There will be over 500 shows at 54 venues across the city – the most ever in the festival’s history. Over 103,000 tickets are on sale. GICF will keep Glasgow laughing for eighteen days in March with performances from household names like Tommy Tiernan, Rob Delaney, Katherine Ryan, Ed Byrne, Bridget Christie, Limmy, David Baddiel, Jerry Sadowitz, Alexei Sayle, Jonathan Pie and Elaine C Smith.

The city-wide comedy takeover includes: the first two recordings of The Comedians at The King’s - a new TV stand up show where all the acts are over fifty with Fred MacAulay, John Moloney and Gary Little plus 21 other comics appearing across two nights; Alan Bissett performing his award-winning Moira shows in a double bill for the first time at the Citizen's Theatre; local favourite Darren Connell debuting his new show; a special exhibition curated by Artpistol featuring artwork celebrating Scottish comedy and art produced by comedians; political humour from Ayesha Hazarika playing her home town for the first time; Mark Thomas’ new show about starting a comedy night in Palestine, featuring two aspiring comedians from the Jenin refugee camp; and the return of Stand Up Against MND, the benefit night which sees a galaxy of comedy stars come together to raise thousands of pounds for a good cause.

The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival always presents the cream of home-grown talent - Des Clarke, Iain Connell, Fern Brady, Craig Hill, Janey Godley, Richard Gadd, Larry Dean, Mark Nelson, Chris Forbes, Iain Stirling, Phil Differ, Susie McCabe and Jim Smith are all set to perform solo shows, while the anarchic comedy collective CHUNKS will once again take over McPhabbs.

As part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 GICF will stage a series of workshops for budding comedians aged 16 -26.  Entries are now open and those interested can get more info and apply via glasgowcomedyfestival.com

The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival brings some of the biggest acts on the UK circuit to Glasgow, this year featuring Mark Steel, Shappi Khorsandi, Tom Allen, Richard Herring, Foil Arms & Hogg, Phill Jupitus, and Robin Ince among many others. Veneer Gallery in Finnieston will host stand up for the first time with a line-up of acclaimed performers including Tom Parry, Kieran Hodgson, Ben Target and Trevor Lock.

Meanwhile, GICF’s international showing is as strong as ever, with Mae Martin, Brendon Burns, Rose Matafeo, Craig Campbell, Erik Terell, Chris Betts, Rob Schneider,and John Robertson, plusperennial sell-out showcase America Stands Up! introducing some of the most exciting comedians working in the States right now.

As well as stand up performances in some of the city’s biggest venues and intimate gigs in pubs, the Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival features plays, sketches, improv, film and comedy for kids. There will be magicians, rappers and interactive comedy games, and shows inspired by everything from zombies to rescue dogs, Elvis to Star Trek.

Other unusual shows include the Comedy Crawl which takes the audience to see four comedians in four West End bars and Round The Clock Comedy Roadshow which takes place over twelve hours with a different performance each hour. Theatre highlights include two specially programmed Play, Pie and Pints - Alan Muir’s The Greatest by and A.S Robertson’s For The Love of Chekov - and the world premiere of The Pieman Cometh by Bryan Jackson.

Events take place every day throughout the festival and tickets for all shows are on sale now, with some performances already selling out.

Sarah Watson, Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival Director, said: “It’s always exciting to announce the line up and this year is no exception. As the festival grows we are proud to showcase diverse voices, styles and art forms – it’s great to have two exhibitions in the programme and we’re hugely pleased to welcome eight new venues to the festival including Tramway, Glasgow School of Art Student's Association and the Science Centre. We’re thrilled to have Whyte & Mackay on board as our headline sponsor this year – a great Glaswegian brand with a track record of supporting comedy talent. They have brilliant things planned and are helping us to make the festival bigger and better than ever. There are shows to suit every budget and taste and I hope people will take a chance on someone new – you might just discover the next big thing.”

Ruairi Perry, Head of Brand at Whyte & Mackay, said: “We are a brand with Glaswegian humour and heritage at our core, we know the festival is an ideal stage to share our Surprisingly Smooth blend with a new audience.

We are thrilled to be involved with such an iconic event and welcome the world to Glasgow. Yet again the festival has attracted some of the biggest names in comedy and of course some fantastic new talent to see for the first time, the festival truly promises to deliver a great blend to suit anyone’s taste.

We look forward to launching the new ‘Whyte & Mackay-Ball’ across Glasgow – a new twist on a classic drink – the perfect way to start your comedy night.”

The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival is supported by Glasgow Life and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and has previously been recognised as Best Large Festival at the Scottish Event Awards.

Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Glaswegians are renowned for their hospitality and good humour so it’s no surprise that we’re home to one of the best comedy festivals in the world with this year promising to be the biggest and best event to date. An eclectic line-up of some of the greatest comedy performers from around the globe, as well as the very best of home-grown Scottish talent, are set to delight audiences across an even wider range of venues throughout the city.  As we kick off the Year of Young People it’s fantastic to see workshops aimed at nurturing young comedic talent in the festival line-up alongside a whole host of shows featuring some of comedy’s brightest stars.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “For more than 10 years EventScotland has been a proud supporter of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, helping the festival showcase Glasgow and Scotland’s burgeoning comedy scene to the world. I’m particularly excited about this year’s programme, which includes the opportunity for our budding young comedians to develop their skills at a series of workshops as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People, as well as a fantastic line-up of local, national and international comedic talent. This programme shows why the Glasgow International Comedy Festival is one of Europe’s leading comedy festivals.”

Keep up to date with all the latest news by registering at glasgowcomedyfestival.com and follow on Facebook and Twitter @glasgowcomedy.


Supported by:   

Supported By (Logos)                                                                    

For more information please contact:  Jenny Stewart, [email protected] / 07885 467 181

For more information about Whyte & Mackay please contact: Victoria Irvine victoria[email protected] or Jo Blyth, [email protected] / 0141 648 9610Notes to editors

The GICF London launch takes place on Burns Night, Thursday 25 January 2018 at the Leicester Square Theatre. Media should RSVP to [email protected]

  • The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival was established in 2003 and is now entering its sixteenth year.
  • The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival is supported by main funder, Glasgow Life.
  • The festival is organised by the Scottish Comedy Agency, a sister company of Salt’n’Sauce Promotions Ltd, which owns and operates the highly successful Stand Comedy Clubs in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle.
  • Tickets for all shows are available via the respective venue’s own box offices, glasgowcomedyfestival.com or 0844 873 7353.
  • register at glasgowcomedyfestival.com for all the latest news and follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @glasgowcomedy

Whyte & Mackay was established in Glasgow, in 1844. The award-winning blended Scotch whisky is created for a smoother, richer taste using the best ingredients, combining the finest aged singled malts and aged grain whiskies from two of Scotland’s most famous distilling regions, Highland and Speyside.

Whyte & Mackay’s surprisingly smooth taste is distinct due to its triple maturation process, which goes one step further than most other blended whiskies, to produce a whisky rich in both colour and taste. 

Glasgow Life is a charity which delivers services to both citizens and visitors to the city, providing opportunities through culture, sport and learning. Last year, more than 18 million attendances were recorded at venues, events and festivals – up more than one third since 2007. Some 2,600 staff and 2,200 volunteers deliver services across 160 Glasgow Life venues.

Glasgow Life has responsibility for:

  • Managing nine award-winning civic museums, including Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Riverside Museum and the Burrell Collection as well as the Kelvin Hall;
  • The Glasgow Club – Scotland’s largest health and fitness network – including landmarks such as the Emirates Arena and Tollcross International Swimming Centre;
  • The Mitchell Library and 32 Community Libraries, as well as community facilities across the city and a significant learning programme;
  • Programming world-class music in venues such as the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, incredible art and exhibitions at Tramway and a number of cultural events, such as Celtic Connections, the Mela, the World Pipe Band Championships and the Merchant City Festival, among others;
  • Leading partners in the delivery of Glasgow’s Tourism and Visitor Plan to 2023; positioning the city as a vibrant, first-choice destination for leisure and business tourists;
  • Managing the city’s destination marketing and implementing the award-winning PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW brand;
  • Managing Glasgow’s Convention Bureau, which attracts more than 500 conferences to the city each year.

Glasgow Life helped to deliver the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships, Davis Cup ties and the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships.

Looking ahead, Glasgow Life is supporting delivery of the inaugural 2018 European Championships – a major multi-sport event in partnership with Berlin – the European Indoor Athletics Championships 2019 and the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship.

For more information, visit www.glasgowlife.org.uk 

EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit www.EventScotland.org. Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews.

EventScotland is a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland. For more information about VisitScotland see www.visitscotland.org or for consumer information on Scotland as a visitor destination see www.visitscotland.com.

Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
  • The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
  • Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
  • This event is supported by the Year of Young People 2018 Event Fund, managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.  EventScotland is working with the events and festivals sector to develop an exciting portfolio of Year of Young People 2018 public-facing events which provide opportunities for young people to express themselves through a wide range of activity.
  • Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
  • The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
    •  Participation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
    • Education – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
    • Health and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
    • Equality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
    • Enterprise and regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
    • Culture – celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
  • Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website www.yoyp2018.scot or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.
  • Image of Ed Byrne taken by Steve Ullathorne 



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